Thursday, March 01, 2007

Involuntary Statements Void Forgery Conviction

State v. Pierce, No. 06-0409 (Iowa Ct. App. Feb. 28, 2007).

Pierce tendered a counterfeit $100 bill at a Dollar General store in Story City and police were summoned. Pierce accompanied the officer to city hall where she was mirandized and interviewed. Over a period of a few hours Pierce gave several different versions of how she acquired the phony Franklin, cried, and stated she wanted to be with her children. Another officer was summoned, another fake Franklin was discovered at the store, and the interviewing officer told Pierce that she would probably have lesser charges or even no charges if she told the truth about how she obtained the bills. Pierce gave another statement about how she obtained the bills and was charged with forgery.

Pierce moved to suppress her statements to police as not being voluntarily given.

The court agreed, holding that Pierce's statements were not voluntary because they were improperly induced by statements the officer made and the circumstances under which they were made.


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